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Thread: Seeking ideas for moving water more efficiently

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    Seeking ideas for moving water more efficiently

    My pool is exactly what this site's title is not. It's been a nightmare since I bought my house.

    I'm looking for some suggestions on what to do (other than digging up my concrete deck--that's the only part of the whole installation that doesn't give me trouble!) to get the water in my pool moving around in an efficient manner.

    The situation with my pool is a long story, so I'll skip it and just describe the situation. My deep-end return and main drain do not work--we bought the house that way 10 years ago (we didn't know that when we bought it). When we replaced the liner a few years ago we discovered that not only does the main drain not work, it had a plug in it! So we removed the plug and ran water down a mysterious pipe sticking out of the ground for 15 minutes that we assume must connect to the drain. The water never surfaced... So, having no money left after buying the liner, we re-plugged it, installed the liner, and just continued. But the problem is that in order to keep the pool clean, we have to run the filter 24/7 all summer... if it is turned off even just for a little while, the pool becomes a disaster. Needless to say, this is rather expensive.

    I've been through a couple pumps in the last 10 years and just opened the pool the other day (way late this season) to discover that the latest one died over the winter--I'm trying to figure out if it is a broken impeller shaft or a bad capacitor, but I don't see the capacitor at all (another issue entirely). Ultimately, I think I'm going to have to buy yet another pump. So I'm trying to figure out what I can do, if anything, about my water circulation issue.

    I'm thinking that the best (though admittedly ugly) solution would be to run external pipes down the sides of the pool... have you ever seen anything like that? I really don't want to rip up the concrete and can't afford to have a professional come in and either dig up the concrete or dig under it to fix the pipes--and I could only get under it on one side anyway--the side that is least broken.

    So I'm looking for ideas on how to rig up a system of pipes that will not only pull water from the bottom of the pool and return it to both ends, but also still skim the top--the pool is surrounded by pine trees and we have to empty the FULL skimmer basket AND pump basket at least twice a day, sometimes more often in heavy wind conditions or on the days when the trees are dumping their millions of seeds. I finally removed all the pine trees on my land, but the neighbors have two hideous 75-foot white pine trees that lean over my pool.

    I previously had a 1 hp pump which I replaced with a 1.5 hp pump which just died. So I have to buy a new one... I've been looking on Craigslist because I don't have $410 for a new pump (and my pool is rapidly turning green) and I've noticed a number of pumps identified as "spa" pumps rated at 4-4.5 hp. So I'm wondering exactly what the difference is and whether it might be something I could use or if they are only designed for infrequent, short-term use or if the energy usage would put my electricity cost even further through the roof than it already is... at 16+ cents/kwh, I want to cry every time I get my electric bill.

    Right now I have a sump pump at the end of an 8-foot cord sitting on the bottom of the pool attached to a hose going to the shallow end--the pump won't drain all the way of the pool, so I have to leave the hose lying on the bottom under water (leaching lead into my water... great solution!). Obviously this is less than ideal and will quickly lead to a swampy pool... so I need to figure out if I'm just going to replace the pump I have with a similar one or if my crazy idea is feasible.... any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Dayton, Ohio
    Above Ground 24' round
    52" deep
    DE filter (Hayward)
    Used to use liquid shock...changed to Power Powder 2011 - 3 inch Leslie's chlorinator tabs (dispensed in floating ducky)

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Seeking ideas for moving water more efficiently

    Welcome to TFP!

    I think you are going about this the wrong way. You want a smaller pump, not a larger pump. The key to a clean pool is getting your chemical levels right, and the key to saving money is getting the smallest pump that will work with your pool, preferably a two speed pump.

    Yes, I have seen people run pipes on the ground and over the edge of the pool. That works but looks terrible. It also really isn't necessary in the vast majority of cases. I presume that you have at least one working skimmer and at least one working return? If so that is all you really need. It may take a little fiddling with the return eyeball to get it aimed correctly, but there is almost always a way to get good circulation with a single return.

    If you are having problems with surface debris clogging the skimmer, you might want to try a pool skim, or similar device, which essentially gets you an additional virtual skimmer.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Coastalish 'down easter'

    Re: Seeking ideas for moving water more efficiently

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Jason is pointing you in the correct direction

    I would love to bounce a few ideas around with you (r.e. over deck plumbing and saving your pumps) but I work for a resort community, weekends are our busy time, and wouldn't be able to do it until Monday, at the earliest.

    You found the right place to post your questions - the folks here are THE BEST!!
    Luv& Luk

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Seeking ideas for moving water more efficiently

    I remembered this old thread. the-circulator-t6064.html

    It's something, anyway.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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